PHOTO: Facebook video screengrab
The 13 missing members of Mu Pa Academy FC stranded in a Chiang Rai cave for 10 days are stronger than expected, the province's governor Narongsak Osothanakorn said on Tuesday.
The footballers aged between 11 and 16 and their coach, 25, were found by two British divers on Monday night.
In the video clip shot by the British divers, they looked exhausted after having gone without food and water inside the cave since June 23.
The boys are strong physically and mentally despite being trapped in the dark and flooded cave for many days, he said.
All 13 members of Thai junior football team found in flooded cave
The operation is still waiting for the SEAL teams to evaluate the actual condition of the 13 although they appeared to be fine in the video clip, the governor said.
If we had to choose between green as the best, yellow as mild, and red as the most serious, they look to green,” Narongsak said. Two or three of them looked yellow to me, he said.
“Last week, we labelled our operation to find the missing team as mission impossible, but now we have achieved a level of success,” the governor, who heads the rescue operations, said.
READ ALSO: What now for the boys?
The boys have taken refuge on a ledge about 600 metres from Pattaya Beach in the Tham Luang cave. The SEAL divers will take for them power gels, as they have gone without food for 10 days, and some medicines such as antibiotics and painkillers.
They will be evacuated from the cave when they are ready, the governor said. The method of evacuating them will be determined after taking into account several factors, including their health condition.
When they are brought out of the cave, they will be transferred to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital by separate ambulances. Four relatives of each footballer will be allowed to accompany them in the ambulance while being taken to the hospital.
During the days in the cave, they must have felt lonely and abandoned but now they will know that they were not and we will not let that happen, the governor said.
With cooperation from all authorities in and out of the country, we are creating a new chapter in the history of rescue operations, the governor said.